The cover of the 2020 edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival bears the signature of Lorenzo Mattotti (Brescia, 1954), an Italian multi-award winner cartoonist and illustrator. Right from the beginning of his career he was considered one of the most present artists on the international scene. During his career he has collaborated with screenwriter Fabrizio Ostani, known as Jerry Kramsky, with whom he realized Alice Brum Brum in 1977, followed by The adventures of Hucleberry Finn based on the texts by Antonio Tettamanti. In 1979 he started collaborating with “Linus” and produced some of his most significant works, such as Il Signor Spartaco, Doctor Nefasto e Fuoch in the spin-off magazine “Alter Alter”. In 1983 and together with Kramsky, Igort, Giorgio Carpinteri, Marcello Jori and Daniele Brolli he founded the “Valvoline Motorcomics” group, which changed the storytelling rules of the Italian comic-book scene of the 80’s. The authors that were included in the group, that Charles Burns would soon join, have produced some of the bravest experiments of that period. It is at this time that Mattotti began to engage in a stylistic experimentalism that was inspired by the most disparate sources: from comic strips to contemporary art, from cinema to music.
Mattotti also worked on storytelling for children; in 1990 he edited the French edition of Pinocchio by Collodi, soon followed by Eugenio, written by Marianne Cockenpot, thanks to which he won the Grand Prix in Bratislava in 1993, one of the most important event in the field of children’s illustrated literature.
In 1997 he won the Yellow Kid as Best Illustrator at the Expocartoon in Rome. In 1998 he moved to Paris, where he is currently living, and also won the Inkpot Award as Best Cartoonist at the International ComiCon in San Diego. In those same years he realized many illustrations for prestigious magazines such as “The New Yorker”, “Glamour”, “Vanity Fair”, “Cosmopolitan” and “Le Monde”; he then collaborated with the “Internazionale” and “Domus” magazines, for which he designed a cycle of covers in 2010.
In 1999 in collaboration with Claudio Piersanti he created the graphic novel Stigmate, in which he uses a black-and-white scratched line to tell the painful story of an outcast. This work was followed by the dreamlike Ghirlanda in 2017, in collaboration with Kramsky, which is the result of a decade-long process that awarded him with the Premio Gran Guinigi 2017 as Best Graphic Novel.
During those years he worked on many different projects, usually for #logosedizioni, among which we can find La stanza, Chambres/Rooms/Stanze, Venezia. Scavando nell’acqua and Oltremai. In 2003 together with Jerry Kramsky he won the prestigious Will Eisner Award as Best foreign album for Dr.Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, while in 2009 he collaborated with Lou Reed on the illustrated book The Raven.
He also worked to create important advertising campaigns and posters for events such as the one for the Cannes Film Festival in 2000. In the last few years his personal exhibitions in Rome, Paris, Naples, Milan and Haarlem testify his tireless and endless commitment to painting.
The year 2000 saw him engaged in the film industry. In 2004 he contributed in the making of the movie Eros, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, Wong Kar-wai and Steven Soderbergh, for which he realized the poster and the segments connecting the three episodes, while in 2007 he was one of the directors and illustrators of the collective animated movie Peur(s) du noir, a sort of hypnotic collage of black-and-white short films focused on the theme of fear.
In 2012 he worked on the animated sequences of Il était une fois… Peut-être pas by Charles Nemes and he subsequently created the sets and characters for the animated film Pinocchio by Enzo D’Alò.
Finally, in 2019 The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily came out, the first movie that sees him engaged both as a director and screenwriter, based on the homonymous novel by Dino Buzzati. The film, which participated in the “Un certain regard” section of the Cannes Film Festival, represents the final result of a six-year process in which Mattotti worked together with Michael Dudok de Wit’s team The Red Tortoise. Benefiting from the contribution of actors such as Toni Servillo and Antonio Albanese in the Italian edition of the movie, including a vocal cameo of Andrea Camilleri, Mattotti succeeds in paying homage to Buzzati and at the same time he manages to make this animated fairytale entirely his, centering it around timeless themes, such as the loss of one’s identity, the betrayal of one’s culture and the contrast between nature and civilization.